March 19, 2019

On December 21, 2018 the FMCSA Published a Final Rule Relating to State Issuance of Commercial Learner’s Permit Validity (49 CFR 583).

DATE: The Rule is Effective on February 19, 2019.

DISCUSSION:  This rule is intended to make it easier and more cost effective for State Driver Licensing Agencies to issue Commercial Learner’s Permits.  It provides an alternative to the current regulation and the states do not need to use the alternative unless it is more cost effective than the than the current procedures, which remain in effect.

On December 4, 2018, the CPSC Requested Comments on a 2017 a Staff Special Report on Table Saw Blade-Contact Injuries

DATES: Comments are due on or before February 4, 2019

Background:  On May 12, 2017, the CPSC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to blade-contact injuries on table saws, (16 CFR 1245).  The subject of this rule has been under consideration since 2011 and in fact comments should be filed in Docket Number CPSC-2011-0074.

On October 4, 2018 the Department of Transportation Published “Automated Vehicles 3.0—Preparing For The Future of Transportation”–THE FIRST JOINT, MULTI-MODAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR ON-ROAD SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AUTOMATION

OUTLINE:

  1. ROLES IN AUTOMATION
    1. This is a DOT Document and not a NHTSA only Document
    1. It is a supplement to Automated Driving Systems 2.0—A Vision for Safety, which was really a NHTSA documentIt affirms that Automated Driving Systems 2.0 is still appropriate guidance for vehicle and system manufacturers and encourages manufacturers to use Voluntary Safety Self-Assessments (VSSA) and to make the non-confidential information in the assessments public.
    1. 3.0 looks at the various agencies within DOT and provides information on how they fit into a transportation system that will bring automated vehicles into use.  In most instances it is prospective, in that it says what will be done
      1. E.g.—Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)—publishes a Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD; FHWA will pursue an update to the 2009 MUTCD that will take into consideration these new technologies and other needs.
      1. E.g. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration– in the case of vehicles that do not require a human operator, none of the human-specific FMCSRs (i.e., drug testing, hours-of-service, commercial driver’s licenses (CDL)s, and physical qualification requirements) apply.
    1. The Role of NHTSA
      1. The lack of speed and flexibility of the Rulemaking Process has caused NHTSA to move is different directions with respect to automated vehicles.
        1. Child restraint side impact performance—postponed; expected date September, 2019
        1. Mandatory event data recorder FMVSS-withdrawn as of 11/30/18—started in 2012
      1. The speed of technological change in the industry and the significant differences in vehicles that make some of the standards inapplicable has caused NHTSA to take different approaches in regulating automated vehicle systems.
        1. Willingness to change standards that assume a human driver
        1. Willingness to streamline the temporary exemption process
    1. THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND AUTOMATION
      1. Demonstrate Safety Through Voluntary Safety Self-Assessments
        1. A Vision for Safety 2.0 provided voluntary guidance to stakeholders regarding the design, testing, and safe deployment of ADS.  It identified 12 Safety Elements that ADS developers should consider when developing and testing their technologies
        1. Twelve elements from the guidance
          1. System Safety
          1. Operational Design Domain (ODD)
          1. Object and Event Detection and Response (OEDR)
          1. Fallback (Minimal Risk Condition)
          1. Validation Methods
          1. Human Machine Interface
          1. Vehicle Cyber Security
          1. Crashworthiness
            1. Occupant Protection
            1. Compatibility
          1. Post-Crash ADS Behavior
          1. Data Recording
          1. Consumer Education and Training
          1. Federal, State and Local Laws.
        1. It also contained a procedure for Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA)
        1. Automated Vehicles 3.0 encourages stakeholders to follow the Guidance in 2.0, to conduct Vehicle Safety Self Assessments and to make the non-confidential information in the VSSA public as a way to provide transparency and strengthen public confidence in ADS technologies.
      1. Incorporate New Safety Approaches for Automation in Commercial Vehicles
      1. Develop Safe and Accessible Transit Buses and Applications: Considerations for Private Sector Transit Industry
      1. Provide Information to the Public
      1. Consider All Possible Surface Transportation Conditions and Different Roadway Landscapes
      1. Work with All Potential User Groups to Incorporate Universal Design Principles
      1. Anticipate Human Factors and Driver Engagement Issues
      1. Identify Opportunities for Voluntary Data Exchange
      1. Contribute to the Development  of Voluntary, Consensus Based and Performance Oriented Technical Standards
      1. Adopt Cyber Security Best Practices
      1. Engage with First Responders and Public Safety Officials
    1. THE ROAD AHEAD
      1. Automation Implementation Strategies
      1. Safety Risk Management Stages Along the Path to Full Commercial Integration
      1. Moving Forward
    1. APPENDIX A—KEY TERMS AND ACRONYMS
    1. APPENDIX B—STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
    1. APPENDIX C—VOLUNTARY TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR AUTOMATION
      1. Pages 49 through 63 of the document—contains two tables with various standards or practices related to automated vehicle systems and testing.
      1. First Table is by Functional Area and then lists the Standardization Documents related to that Functional Area.
      1. Second Table is by Topic Area, and then Functional Needs and then list the various Standardization Related Activities related to the topic.

On December 3, 2018, the CPSC Raised the less than Customs Valuation or Ex-Factory Price for Disposable Lighters to $2.75(16 CFR 1210)

DATES: The rule becomes effective on December 3, 2018

Background:  The definition of disposable lighter included the Customs Valuation or ex-factory price of less than $2.00 in 1993 to be adjusted to the nearest $0.25 every 5 years.  This notice raises the price to $2.75.

On October 12, 2018, NHTSA Published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend FMVSS 108 to Allow Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB) Technology to be Introduced into the United States (49 CFR 571.108)

DATES: Comments must be filed on or before December 11, 2018

Adaptive driving beam (‘‘ADB’’) headlamps use advanced technology that actively modifies the headlamp beams to provide more illumination while not glaring other vehicles. The proposed requirements would amend the existing regulations to permit this technology and ensure that it operates safely.

ADB is not supplemental lighting, but is part of the required headlamp system.  It would not comply with some of the current FMVSS 108 requirements.  NHTSA proposes to amend the standard to make ADB available in the United States.  To ensure that ADB systems operate safely, the standard would include additional requirements specific to ADB systems.

This NPRM proposes to subject ADB equipped vehicles to a dynamic compliance test to ensure the ADB system does not glare oncoming or preceding vehicles. The performance requirements NHTSA proposes specify the maximum level of illuminance an ADB system may cast on opposing or preceding vehicles.

In addition to these track-tested glare limits, under this proposal an ADB system would also be subject to some of the existing laboratory-based upper and lower beam photometry requirements. NHTSA also proposes applying some existing semiautomatic beam switching device requirements to ADB systems: Manual override (S9.4.1.2); fail safe operation (S9.4.1.3); and automatic dimming indicator (S9.4.1.4).